An artist couple commissioned Theis + Khan to design two adjacent but interconnected studios off a common yard and garden in a site behind Victorian shops and terraces in Islington. The site had an existing industrial building replaced by the two new-build double height studios. The brief originally included a two bedroom flat as part of the development but the CIL amount calculated at the time meant that this part of the project became unaffordable and it was omitted from the scheme.
The low profile design of two studios built within the boundary walls of the adjacent school and houses are arranged to form an entrance courtyard in the south corner of the site with the private garden in the north corner.
Each studio contains a large studio space, storage space, a kitchenette, WC facilities and a first floor drawing studio open to the space below. Access into the studios is from the entrance courtyard with an additional access into Unit 1 direct from the alley to allow for moving large items into/out of the studio space. Additionally each studio space has access to the shared private garden and at first floor level, an external balcony to provide access between the two units.
The rooflines of the proposed buildings slope upwards from the north East and north West boundary walls to a flat roof to minimise potential overshadowing to the neighbouring houses.
Board formed concrete is used to form robust walls to the alley and entrance courtyard with metal framed windows and doors to these exposed facades. The walls to the garden are to be clad in timber to reflect the more private, intimate space along with timber framed windows and doors.
The windows from the first floor space and the linking balcony overlook the entrance courtyard to provide security. The balcony also provides shelter to the entrances to each unit and space for bicycle parking and bin storage.